Due to Gov. Kasich’s State Budget Cuts, Cincinnati Debates Firing Hundreds of Police and Fire Fighters

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to news that the City of Cincinnati has been forced to consider the layoff of hundreds of police officers and firefighters due to Governor John Kasich’s state budget cuts, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

 “Make no mistake, the only reason Cincinnati has been forced to debate firing hundreds of police and fire fighters is because Gov. Kasich cut tens of millions of dollars to the city in his last state budget. As communities like Cincinnati struggle to deal with the last round of cuts, Kasich’s at it again, proposing to steal another $200 million from local communities to help pay for tax giveaways to the rich. If Kasich gets his way and passes his proposed handout to his friends, more communities across the state will see layoffs, skyrocketing local tax levies, and deep cuts to schools.”

BACKGROUND

Kasich’s 2012-13 Budget Caused Cincinnati To Lose $40.7 Million In State Funding.  According to Policy Matters “The state cut the Local Government Fund to the county, forcing Hamilton County to make cuts to jurisdictions within the county. The state also cut direct funding to municipalities, and slashed reimbursements for taxes it had eliminated, taxes that businesses and utilities had paid to local governments. School districts and the public library fund were also cut. Losses in calendar years 2012 and 2013, compared to 2010 and 2011, include, among others: Cincinnati … -$40.7 million” [Policy Matters, 11/2/12]

State Representative John Patrick Carney’s Statement on Agency Leadership Changes Amid Governor Kasich’s JobsOhio Scandal

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Late tonight, Governor Kasich’s office confirmed that in the near future Director Christiane Schmenk will leave her leadership role overseeing the Development Services Agency (DSA).

Schmenk’s departure comes amid a growing scandal concerning Governor Kasich’s use of funds for JobsOhio, his private economic development agency that is not subject to the same type of transparency requirements as many state agencies. Recent reports revealed that DSA may have illegally transferred millions of taxpayer dollars for JobsOhio’s use, and most questions about the transfer have gone unanswered. The Kasich Administration has yet to respond to Republican Auditor David Yost’s subpoena for financial information for JobsOhio so he can conduct a full audit of the organization’s finances.

In response to the news of Schmenk’s departure from DSA, State Representative John Patrick Carney issued the following statement:

“After seemingly misappropriating millions in taxpayer dollars for Governor Kasich’s slush fund JobsOhio, it appears the Administration is lining up Director Schmenk to take the blame. Kasich has stonewalled repeated requests from the State Auditor for financial information, so it’s no surprise he’s had months to plan a shuffle in leadership at the Development of Services Agency to cover-up any potential wrongdoing with JobsOhio.

There are still more questions than answers surrounding JobsOhio, Mark Kvamme, and the Governor’s use of taxpayer dollars. It’s time the Governor came clean, complied with the subpoena, and opened JobsOhio’s financial books up to the public.”

###

Northern Ohio House Republicans Abandon Turnpike in Favor of Gov. Kasich’s Partisan Plan

Reps. Dovilla, Sears, Anielski, Baker, Lynch, DeVitis & Slaby Support Kasich Plan to Raid Turnpike

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, the Ohio House of Representatives voted in favor of HB 51, Governor John Kasich’s partisan plan to raid the assets of the Ohio Turnpike, likely raise tolls, and increase the State’s debt by more than $1.5 billion dollars. While Kasich had previously pledged to cap future toll increases and dedicate at least 90% of the revenue to Northern Ohio, he later flip-flopped on his promise and refused to include any guarantees in the actual legislation.

Several Northern Ohio Republican members of the House of Representatives , including Reps. Dovilla, Sears, Anielski, Baker, Lynch, DeVitis, and Slaby turned their backs on protecting the long-term integrity of the Turnpike and voted in favor of Kasich’s scheme. Only Northern Ohio Representatives Brown, Boose, Damschroder, and Roegner had the courage to break their Party ranks and oppose Governor Kasich’s plan to use the Turnpike as an election year slush fund.

In response to the House vote to alter the future of the Ohio Turnpike, Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz released the following statement:

 “Voters will certainly hold Republicans accountable for supporting John Kasich’s partisan plan to raid the assets of the Ohio Turnpike, drive up tolls, increase the state’s debt, and create an election-year slush fund for the Governor to pay off his political cronies. The Turnpike is too important to our state’s economy, and the job security of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, to trust Kasich to play politics with its future.”

 “As the Governor prepares to implement the largest-middle class tax raise in Ohio’s history to pay for handouts to his rich friends, he’s claimed the only way we can fund infrastructure projects is by mortgaging the future of the Ohio Turnpike. Perhaps if Kasich weren’t so intent on giving $10,000 tax breaks to those making more than $335,000 a year, he might be able to find more resources to invest in our state’s infrastructure.”

Fact Check: What Administrators Are Really Saying About Kasich’s School Plan

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Today, the Governor’s office deceptively highlighted the minority of Administrators across the state that are actually pleased with Kasich’s plan to make permanent his historic education cuts. What are school administrators among the 60% of districts receiving no additional state funding actually saying about Kasich’s plan?

“The statements the governor made are a damn lie.” – Arnol Elam, Superintendent of Franklin City Schools

“[We were] duped by Kasich. We got told all the right things, but he didn’t follow through. This is not what we were told.” – Bob Caldwell,Superintendent of Wolf Creek Local School District

“Everyone in the room when he [Kasich] announced his budget was misled.” – Roger Mace, Superintendent of Gallipolis City Schools

“This is really going to hurt us.” – Becki Peden, Huntington Local Schools Treasurer

It just seems like the rich get richer, and the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.” – Larry Hook, Superintendent of Carlisle Schools

“What the governor and his staff told us in Columbus just was not true… Five of the seven districts will not receive any more money [in fiscal year 2014].” – John Rubesich, Superintendent of the Ashtabula County Educational Services Center

“Instead of closing the gap between poor and wealthy districts, it appears to be exacerbated.” – Tom Perkins, Superintendent of Northern Local Schools of Perry County

Aurora Schools Treasurer Bill Volsin said his district will receive the exact same amount from the state as it did last year.  While state government officials say Aurora will receive almost half a million more in 2014, Volsin and Superintendent Russ Bennett claim that isn’t true. – Auora Advocate, 2/13/13

Nearly two years ago, Kasich slashed $1.8 billion in education funding to schools across Ohio. A recent non-partisan study found that those cuts led to $1.1 billion in new local tax levies as communities struggled to replace the lost revenue.

Governor Kasich’s current budget proposes to retain many of his education cuts while simultaneously giving a tax handout to Ohio’s wealthiest.

BACKGROUND

Franklin City Schools Superintendent called Kasich’s education statements ‘a damn lie.’  Franklin City Superintendent Arnol Elam criticized Governor Kasich’s education funding formula, which the governor asserted would help poorer districts.  “The statements the governor made are a damn lie,” he said.  [Middletown Journal, 2/9/13]

Wolf Creek Superintendent said he felt ‘duped’ by Kasich.  Bob Caldwell, Superintendent of Wolf Creek Local School District, said that while he initially agreed to support John Kasich’s education budget, he now feels “duped by Kasich.”  “‘We got told all the right things, but he didn’t follow through,” Caldwell said. “This is not what we were told.’”  [The Columbus Dispatch, 2/8/13]

Gallipolis Superintendent said Kasich misled school officials.  Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent Roger Mace, said “Everyone in the room when he (Kasich) announced his budget was misled.”  [The Columbus Dispatch, 2/8/13]

Huntington Treasurer explained the impact of John Kasich’s education budget to local school board.  Huntington Local Schools Treasurer Becki Peden described the effects of John Kasich’s funding formula on her school district.  “Compared with 2009, which is the last time schools had a true funding formula, Huntington has seen its annual state funding dwindle from about $10.9 million to about $8.3 million, according to a comparison spreadsheet Peden gave the board Tuesday.  Peden said state funding makes up 76 percent of Huntington’s budget. ‘This is really going to hurt us,’ she said of the lack of a funding increase.”  [Chillicothe Gazette, 2/13/13]

Carlisle Superintendent said he was disappointed by John Kasich’s education funding proposal.  Carlisle Superintendent Larry Hook was initially optimistic after hearing Governor Kasich’s education presentation on school funding, but became disappointed after hearing the details.  “It just seems like the rich get richer, and the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves,” he said.  [Middletown Journal, 2/9/13]

Ashtabula Superintendent thought his district would receive more funding from Governor Kasich’s education budget.  John Rubesich, Superintendent of the Ashtabula County Educational Services Center, said he thought his schools would receive more funding from the governor because of the amount of low-income and special needs students in his district.  He described the numbers as “deflating.”  “‘What the governor and his staff told us in Columbus just was not true,’ he said. ‘Five of the seven districts will not receive any more money (in fiscal year 2014).’”  [Ashtabula Star Beacon, 2/19/13]

Northern Local Schools Superintendent said gap between wealthy, poor districts may grow.  Tom Perkins, Superintendent of Northern Local Schools of Perry County, said John Kasich’s education budget may increase the discrepancies in funding between wealthy and poor districts.  Discussing Kasich’s education formula, Perkins said that “instead of closing the gap between poor and wealthy districts, it appears to be exacerbated.”  [The Columbus Dispatch, 2/8/13]

Aurora Schools Officials found discrepancies with Kasich Administration funding claims.  Aurora Schools Treasurer Bill Volsin said his district will receive the exact same amount from the state as it did last year.  While state government officials say Aurora will receive almost half a million more in 2014, Volsin and Superintendent Russ Bennett claim that isn’t true.  [Aurora Advocate, 2/13/13]

State of State Preview: Kasich Tax Hikes Received As Warmly As Today’s Temperature in Lima

Today’s forecast for Lima, the site of Kasich’s State of the State: Low of 14 degrees, high of 32 degrees, snowy with a 100% chance of new taxes.

AP // Ohio tax plan hits concerts, ports, even bowling
Admission to fairs, museums, and theme parks would fall under Ohio’s sales tax for the first time too… Adding the sales tax on arts, entertainment, and recreation alone is projected to bring in $85 million to the state government over the coming two years. It’s also likely to add to the cost of seeing a ballgame or a play.Some entertainment businesses and sports teams will pass the costs onto ticket buyers and customers while others are likely to absorb the costs, fearing that a price increase will drive away business. 

Columbus Dispatch // Kasich’s Ohio tax plan might hurt small business
“The tax expansion would require many service businesses — from garbage collectors to architects — to charge their customers a 5 percent sales tax. The businesses would then pay the collections to the state at regular intervals while keeping 0.75 percent of the total for their trouble.”

Youngstown Vindicator // Kasich’s budget proposal includes changes to income and sales taxes
“‘I don’t see how you can cut taxes and not give local governments enough money for essential services like police and fire,’ said Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners and a Democrat. ‘He’s hurt local governments and forced them to raise money [through tax levies] to operate.’” 

Cincinnati Enquirer // IN-DEPTH: Kasich unveils budget plan for Ohio
“The new budget would include tax increases, though – in the form of sales taxes levied for the first time on many more services, such as those provided by lawyers, architects, financial advisers, accountants, real estate agents and lobbyists. The new tax also would hit cable TV, the arts, entertainment and scientific research.” 

Plain Dealer // Kasich tax plan could raise costs for consumers (video)
“Though Kasich’s plans would lower sales taxes for most goods in the state, the businesses selling them will face higher costs as they will have to pay new taxes on key services such as shipping goods into their stores, advertising their products and running credit checks on potential customers before issuing store credit.” 

WKRC // Businesses Balk At Plans To Expand Sales Tax
“Besides pet grooming, the governor’s plan imposes a five per cent sales tax on attorneys, accountants, engineers, architects, sports and concert tickets, magazine subscriptions, movie tickets, and parking lots, among other things …to raise three billion dollars the next couple of years, but the governor sees the sales tax expansion as part of an overall tax reduction package-a 20 per cent income tax cut for everybody over the next 2 years, and, in addition, a 50 per cent tax cut for small businesses.”

WBNS // Kasich Tax Structure Proposal Could Cause Hike In Everything From Dog Grooming, Music Downloads“Some of the additional taxes include haircuts, dog grooming; dating services; book, movie and music downloads; Buckeye, Browns and Bengals games; Cedar Point and King’s Island visits; bowling lanes; and magazine subscriptions.” 

Columbus Dispatch // Consumers unsure about broader sales tax
“This makes businesses in Ohio less competitive,” Ehler said. “Either (businesses) leave the state or they lose work — either way, Ohio loses out.” 

Dayton Daily News // Governor coming to Dayton to discuss plan to lower taxes, but expand what can be taxed
“Ohioans would pay less sales tax on goods and services they already buy, but pay new taxes on dozens of added goods and services.  Several of these make up a household’s monthly budget: cable television, laundry services and haircuts. Most goods and services related to education, healthcare and housing would remain exempt from the tax.  Sales tax is applied at the time the sale is made, which puts the burden of payment on vendors. Vendors must pay the tax, even if it is not factored into what the customer pays. In most cases, however, the tax will be paid by the consumer at the time of sale.” 

Toledo Blade // Kasich funding formula favors suburban schools; TPS, other urban districts, mostly flat under governor’s plan
“Jerome Pecko, TPS superintendent, was at the governor’s presentation last week, and had hopes for possible major funding increases that would make local property levies unnecessary in the near future. Those hopes were dashed Wednesday. ‘Whatever that formula was [that was presented last week], it certainly has not done what I anticipated it was going to do,’ he said.” 

Toledo Blade // Lawmakers question Kasich on promise of 90% of Turnpike funds being spent in ‘Northern Ohio’
“State Rep. Matt Lundy (D., Elyria), a former Toledo TV news anchorman, noted that the administration has repeatedly used the 90 percent figure to sell the proposal. ‘I’m almost hearing that we’re backing away from this,’ he said.” 

Columbus Dispatch // Most schools to get no additional funds in Kasich plan
“But some of Ohio’s poorest districts aren’t expected to get a cent above what they already were receiving.  In all, 368 districts would receive no new money over two years, and 33 others would get average increases of less than 2 percent per year.  Every school district in 12 Appalachian counties would receive no funding increase, the same for 73 percent of districts in seven other southeastern Ohio counties.” 

Plain Dealer // Ohio sales tax changes: What Gov. John Kasich’s proposal means to you
“The state has released a list of services (see the full list in the DocumentCloud viewer below) that would be subject to the sales tax under Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal, which would lower the 5.5 percent state sales tax to 5 percent, but extend the tax to a broad array of services, with some exemptions.” 

Columbus Dispatch // ‘This is not what we were told,’ school officials complain over Kasich funding plan
“But now, Caldwell and many other superintendents say they feel duped by Kasich.  ‘We got told all the right things, but he didn’t follow through,’ Caldwell said. ‘This is not what we were told.’” 

Columbus Dispatch // Property values present challenge on whether Kasich budget delivers to schools what it promises
“But Kasich’s budget rewards some districts in Montgomery County and not others. Dayton schools would get a $12.4 million boost in state aid, a nearly 10 percent increase. Kettering schools would get a 25 percent boost in state money, but Jefferson Township and Oakwood would get no new money.” 

Plain Dealer // Gov. John Kasich’s sales tax proposal would have everyday-life impact
“Selling a house? You’ll have to pay the tax on services from property sales agents.  Downloading a book? The cost of that service would be taxed.  Going to a sporting event? The admission would be taxed.  Kasich’s sales tax plan is part of his proposed two-year budget for Ohio.” 

Mason Buzz // Tepid reception for new Kasich tax plan
“‘At Cliff’s Barber Shop in Morrow, with Fox News Channel playing in the background, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to tax services such as haircuts isn’t popular.  ‘It’s ridiculous, to tell you the truth,’ said owner Cliff Kerr, a Republican who voted for Kasich in 2010.  ‘It’s just more government; something we need less of. …  ‘There’s too much taxes.’” 

Dayton Daily News // Most colleges gain funding in proposed state budget
“Three area colleges and universities are among 17 campuses statewide that will lose funding under Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposed state budget, which seeks to hold down costs while providing incentives to schools that graduate more students.  Locally, Miami University’s regional campus in Middletown will lose 9.6 percent, the historically black Central State University will lose 2.1 percent and Clark State Community College in Springfield will lose 0.5 percent in fiscal year 2014, according to projections released Friday.”

Huntington Herald-Dispatch // Local reaction to Kasich’s budget mixed
“Lawyers weren’t pleased.  ‘I think it’s a mistake,’ said Ironton lawyer Philip Heald. ‘It’s difficult to pay legal fees. I think it will create a hardship on people who need an attorney. It will deny access to legal services for some people.’”

Middletown Journal // Superintendents: Kasich’s funding plan falls short
“‘The governor was on every TV and radio station in state of Ohio saying poorer districts were going to get money,’ said Franklin Superintendent Arnol Elam. ‘The statements the governor made are a damn lie. It is just more of the same rhetoric we’ve had before.’”

Plain Dealer Op-Ed // State approach to education is smoke and mirrors: Eva O’Mara
“The truth of the matter is that there have been such incredibly drastic cuts made in past budgets by our 2013 version of Gov. John Kasich that most school districts will continue to struggle in meeting the expectations mandated by state legislators who are unfamiliar with the current classroom landscape — in spite of the apparent largesse proposed last Jan. 31 in the Achievement Everywhere Plan (not to be called budget).”

Cincinnati Enquirer // Funding plans concern districts
“‘If they’re going to take away all or a portion of that, that’s concerning,’ said Southwest treasurer Tom Golinar. Cutting it would be the dollar equivalent of cutting a third of the 225-member teaching force and would almost certainly necessitate a levy, district officials said.”

Akron Beacon Journal Editorial // Uncertain schools
“The governor has kicked off the biennial budgeting process with school funding proposals that now serve as a backdrop for financial projections and decisions individual districts must make. If the Akron Public Schools in any way is representative of districts across the state, its budget challenges will serve well enough to illustrate how financial uncertainty is forcing schools to take measures that run counter to “common sense,” even as they are challenged to achieve excellence everywhere.”

AP // Plan cuts funding to BGSU, Owens
“But 17 of the state’s 61 universities, branch campuses and community colleges, including Bowling Green State University and Owens Community College, are expected to receive cuts.”

Columbus Dispatch // Ohio runs surplus, but budgets are tight locally
“‘We are sitting here watching the state budget grow every year, and local communities continue to struggle. … The budget continues to grow, yet police agencies can’t buy a cruiser,’ said Michael S. Weinman, director of government affairs for the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.”

Youngstown Vindicator // Local governments won’t see much of Ohio’s budget surplus
“Although the biennium spending blueprint the governor has submitted to the General Assembly contains a small increase in the Local Government Fund, the proposed allocation does not restore the deep cuts made in the two fiscal years that began July 2011.”

Akron Beacon Journal // Sales tax proposal would affect everyday Ohioans
“Gov. John Kasich wants consumers to start paying sales tax on a huge array of services that traditionally have been exempt in Ohio.  Those services touch the lives of every state resident and include everything from cable television to funerals to attorney fees to haircuts to pet grooming.”

Toledo Blade // Editorial:  What’s fair?
“After slashing state aid to schools in the current two-year budget, Governor Kasich said that his new formula will give more state money to poorer districts and less to richer ones. But in terms of basic aid, his office’s own numbers suggest the opposite, because the formula appears largely to reward enrollment growth.”

Plain Dealer // Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools’ treasurer: district needs to be back on ballot in 2014
“Since no increase in state funding is expected for the district the next two years in Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget, Gainer said the district expects to go back on the ballot in November 2014 — three years after a 6.9-mill levy was passed.”

 

 

 

###

Governor Kasich Announces Plans to Make Permanent His Historic Education Cuts

New Education Formula Short on Specifics, Fails to Fully Restore 2011 Cuts that Led to More than $1 Billion in Tax Levies Across State

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, in a closed-door meeting, Governor Kasich unveiled a disappointing new formula to fund schools and educational programs throughout Ohio. While the Governor’s proposal was short on specifics and lacked a district-by-district breakdown, it was clear Kasich does not intend to fully restore the historic $1.8 billion he decimated from the state education budget in 2011. A recent independent study found that due to Governor Kasich’s education cuts, since May 2011 more than $1 billion in new tax levies have been on the ballot across the state, and today’s news by the Governor guarantees that number will only increase.

In response to the Governor’s proposal, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“It’s alarming that Governor Kasich drafted this proposal in secret, without the input of education stakeholders, and chose to make permanent his historic 2011 cuts that slashed nearly $1.8 billion from students and schools around the state. According to an independent study, John Kasich’s decision to dramatically defund Ohio’s education programs has already caused taxpayers in over 194 communities to face more than $1 billion in new tax initiatives at the ballot. Kasich’s education plan guarantees that the State will continue to withhold funding, local taxpayers will see even more levies in addition to the $1 billion they’ve already faced, and our children’s opportunities will be compromised

Ohio Democrats Call On Governor Kasich’s Hand-Picked State School Board President to Resign for Hitler Posting

Kasich Has Duty to Remove Terhar For Commentary

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Today, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Governor Kasich’s hand-picked School Board President, Debe Terhar, linked President Obama to Adolf Hitler “when she posted a photograph of the Nazi leader on her Facebook page with a message critical of the administration’s new gun-control efforts.” President Terhar’s Facebook commentary was in response to President Obama’s recent national dialogue on preventing gun violence following the Connecticut elementary school tragedy that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

The posting in question was shared from the Facebook group “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children” and included a picture of Adolf Hitler with the quote,  “Never forget what this tyrant said: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”

“While there is always room for respectful differences in opinions, State School Board President Terhar’s facebook posting crossed a clear line by connecting the President’s national discussion on guns to Adolf Hitler,” said Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern. “President Terhar’s invocation of Hitler is dangerous and should not be tolerated by Governor Kasich and the rest of the State School Board.

“In the past, Governor Kasich has called for more civility in the political debate, and now he has a prime opportunity to back up his words with action. In the absence of a full, formal apology from Terhar, Kasich has a duty to remove his hand-picked State School Board President from office. Under no circumstances is it permissible for Governor Kasich to look the other way while members of his Administration use dangerous, inflammatory rhetoric and images to further their political ideology.”

Following the Dispatch story, President Terhar posted another message on her Facebook page today, declining to take any responsibility for the inflammatory, offensive posting regarding the national debate:

 

###

Ohio Democrats Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Enduring Legacy with the Inauguration of President Barack Obama

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s enduring legacy and the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Today, Ohio Democrats honor the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march toward progress by celebrating the second Inauguration of our country’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. Due in large part to the hard work of Ohioans, we continue to show the world that our country, today and every day, will not rest in our fight for equality for every man and woman that calls the United States of America home. As the President reminds us, from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, we must work for justice.”

###

Statement From Former Governor Ted Strickland

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, former Governor Ted Strickland released the following statement:

“Today, I am announcing my decision not to seek election as Governor of Ohio in 2014.

“In many ways, this has been a very difficult decision. I look back fondly on my time as Ohio’s 68th Governor –and am proud of my Administration’s efforts to guide our state through the greatest national economic crisis since the Great Depression. With the help of my First Lady — Frances Strickland– my dedicated and loyal Cabinet, and my incredibly hard-working Executive Staff, we held the ship steady. With the help of President Obama, who provided the funds necessary to keep Ohio and all of America from slipping into another Great Depression, we were able to preserve the social safety net, make important investments in education, and position Ohio’s economy for the recovery that started in February 2010.

“And when I look back on my four years as Governor, I am equally proud of those in the Strickland Administration who served the public with honor, integrity, and humility. We sought to make Ohio better.

“My administration was about positioning Ohio as a leader in our rapidly changing economy and global world. We worked to rebuild our infrastructure with a special effort to make sure the national system for rail transportation included Ohio. We worked to ensure there were more Ohioans with affordable health care coverage. We significantly improved our national standing in public education, made sure it did not suffer from deep cuts during the economic crises, and worked to satisfy the Supreme Court’s ruling for equitable funding with a new formula that was less dependent on property taxes. We enacted a comprehensive energy reform bill that helped to stabilize the energy market for consumers and business while creating a renewable portfolio standard that has positioned Ohio as a leader in advanced energy. And, we made college more affordable. Most significant for jobs, we were leaders in investments in alternatives sources of energy and went to bat for the automobile industry; working closely with President Obama on the rescue plan that has been so pivotal in Ohio’s economic recovery.

“In short, I believe my Administration stood and spoke for the causes that count.

“Frances and I will continue to be politically active private citizens. We will continue to stand with working men and women to build a stronger Ohio —and to defeat anti-worker and anti-middle class legislation that may arise.”

TODAY: Kasich’s Public Relations Firm To Start Hawking Plan For Hostile Takeover of Ohio Turnpike, Tax Raises, Job Loss

Governor Kasich Personally Directed Public Relations Firm With Task of Raiding Ohio Turnpike, Received $170,000 in Taxpayer Compensation To Spend Year Scheming Changes

COLUMBUS  – Today, Governor Kasich and his personally directed national public relations firm, Fahlgren Mortine, are set to begin leaking details to preferred media outlets about Kasich’s plan to raid the assets of the Ohio Turnpike and increase taxes on Northeast Ohio. Kasich’s PR team has been in place for the past year, receiving more than $170,000 in taxpayers dollars to lay the groundwork for this week’s roll-out of substantial changes to the Turnpike that one member of the Administration described as a “hostile takeover.” As of yesterday, the Governor is declining to personally answer questions about his public relations firm tasked with raiding the turnpike.

While the Governor’s Administration pledged repeatedly they would spend the past year studying all options for the Turnpike, including leaving in its current form, a recently discovered Turnpike communications plan contradicts the Governor, exposing plans since at least May of 2012 to raid the state asset.

In response to the Governor’s announced leaks of his Turnpike tax raise plan, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“As details trickle out today about the Governor’s plan to raid the assets of the Ohio Turnpike and increase taxes, the facts about this political patronage scheme are clear. Governor Kasich assembled key members of the group that doubled tolls on the Indiana Turnpike to advise him on how he could sell a plan to do the same thing here in Ohio. Despite whatever the Governor might claim, just like Senate Bill 5, Kasich’s plan will cost jobs, raise taxes on workers and businesses, and threaten the security of one of our state’s greatest assets.”

###

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.